By Mark Hallum
Over 200 volunteers got involved last Friday in a project between the Samuel Field Y, Citizen Disney and non-profit organization KaBOOM! to turn an empty lot at the Bay Terrace Pool and Tennis Center into a playground. The new playground will provide a place to play for the more than 4,100 children who live in the area, according to a joint press release from the three organizations. The space was transformed in only eight hours. Bay Terrace Pool and Tennis Center is owned by the Samuel Field Y.
KaBOOM!, an organization created in 1996, dedicates itself to building play areas for children which build upon their thinking ability, physical abilities as well as the ability to make friends and interact. Citizen Disney is part of the Walt Disney Company and is the branch which dedicates itself to performing acts of good corporate citizenship.
“The Samuel Field Y is thrilled to have been awarded a KaBOOM! playground build at the Bay Terrace Pool and Tennis Center,” said Jeri Mendelsohn, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Samuel Field Y. “We are so grateful to KaBOOM! who partnered us with the Walt Disney Company to design and build a state-of- the-art, inclusive playground that can support and provide fun, recreational and educational play opportunities for all of the children in our community. Today truly was an exhilarating day of creation, collaboration and camaraderie and we look forward to the play possibilities that lie ahead!”
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) cut the ribbon to open the park. “Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a healthy and productive adult,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of community and engagement, Corporate Citizenship at Disney. “Disney is proud to join KaBOOM! and accelerate efforts that move every child to play every day—at home, in school and in the community. Together, we hope to make places to play more accessible, and inspire kids and families to stay active.”
Children’s drawings were collected at a July event and incorporated into the design of the of the playground.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall